This Vegan Taco Salad features walnut taco meat served over a bowl of romaine with black beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado, and chipotle aioli sauce. It’s a healthy and filling dinner that’s perfect for Meatless Mondays!
These vegan walnut tacos are already my favorite, so I figured they would be extra amazing when turned into a salad. Turns out, I was right! This Vegan Taco Salad is bursting at the seams with hearty homemade walnut taco meat and black beans, then finished with romaine lettuce, veggies, and chipotle aioli.
Vegan taco salads are changing the game not only on Meatless Mondays, but on Taco Tuesdays as well. You’ll still find all of the taco toppings you know and love, but the tortilla is swapped for a big bowl of romaine lettuce. Not only is this a healthy option, but it also means there’s more room to load on the toppings!
This salad, in particular, is perfect for lunches, dinners, and even meal prep. The vegan taco meat is so meaty, filling, and tender. It’ll keep you full for hours and prevent the carnivores in your life from missing the real thing!
- It’s hearty, healthy, vegan, and gluten free.
- Each bite is loaded with protein thanks to the vegan taco meat and black beans.
- Keep the toppings as-is or add more of your favorites!
- Walnut taco meat - This meaty vegan taco meat is made from walnuts, shiitake mushrooms, and easy seasonings. I like to have a batch ready in my fridge at all times to use in taco salads, burrito bowls, stuffed peppers, and walnut tacos.
- Lettuce - I like to use romaine but iceberg lettuce, kale, or any other leafy green you love will do.
- Black beans - Pinto beans work too.
- Toppings - Use what you like! My favorites are grape tomatoes, corn, cilantro, and avocado.
- Chipotle aioli - This smoky, creamy sauce is my go-to on tofu enchiladas, chipotle chicken tacos, and, of course, taco salads. It’s easy to make at home using 6 simple ingredients.
Step 1: Make the taco meat. Start by making the walnut taco meat. It’s easy to make in 10 minutes using a food processor and an oiled skillet.
Step 2: Make the chipotle aioli. Next, move on to the homemade chipotle aioli sauce.
Step 3: Assemble. Divide the romaine into 2 bowls and top with the walnut meat, beans, vegetables, and any other toppings you love. Add a drizzle of aioli on top and enjoy!
Tips and FAQs
- Put the knife down and shred the lettuce in a food processor instead. It’s so much faster!
- Don’t top the salads with vegan taco meat and avocado until right before serving. They taste best when the “meat” is hot and the avocado is ripe.
- Want to switch up the dressing? Swap the chipotle aioli for a simple olive oil and lime juice combo or use my spicy avocado dressing instead.
- Use the taco salad toppings listed in the recipe card or mix it up. You could also add pickled red onions, jalapeños, guacamole salsa, sweet potatoes, vegan cheese, jackfruit, pineapple salsa, and more.
I’m allergic to nuts. What can I use in place of the walnut taco meat?
Use storebought vegan ground meat, jackfruit pulled pork, cooked lentils, or add more beans if you have an aversion to nuts.
What do you serve with taco salads?
Vegan taco salads are a hearty and flavorful meal all on their own, but pair perfectly with chips and salsa, black bean soup, or vegan queso dip on the side. Wash it all down with a mango margarita and you have one of the best vegan Mexican-inspired meals ever.
Refrigerator: Store the diced vegetables and beans together in one airtight container and the cooked walnut taco meat in another. Everything will stay fresh in the fridge for about 4 days.
If your salad is already assembled, keep it in a container in the fridge and enjoy it within 1 to 2 days. Any longer and the lettuce will become soggy and the avocado will brown.
More vegan Mexican recipes
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Vegan Taco Salad
- 2 bunches romaine lettuce chopped
- 15 oz. black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup grape tomatoes sliced
- 1 cup corn cooked
- 2 tablespoon cilantro chopped
- 1 avocado sliced
- ½ cup walnut taco meat or more
- 2 tablespoon chipotle aioli or more
- Start by making the walnut taco meat, along with the chipotle aioli. Both should only take about 10 minutes total.
- Then, divide the lettuce into 2 bowls, and top with the remaining ingredients. Drizzle with the aioli and enjoy!
UPDATE NOTE: This post was originally published in November 2019. It was updated with new text and photos in July 2022.
Making again tonight. Very good. I love mayo but it makes me really nauseous for some reason so I substitute non fat plain Greek yogurt & double the recipe. Cuts the fat & I don’t have a problem. My husband who can eat mayo says he actually prefers the aioli with the yogurt for the taste.
Thanks Laurie, and good tip about the yogurt! I'm glad you both like the recipe 🙂